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Nailers at Monarchs Game Day Snap Shot, February 28

February 28, 2018 - ECHL (ECHL) - Wheeling Nailers News Release

WHEELING NAILERS

(28-22-6-0, 62 PTS, 4th North, 6th East)

199 GF, 190 GA

PP: 20.2% (47-for-233), 4th

PK: 79.8% (178-for-223), 23rd

11-F-Cody Wydo (22 goals, 28 assists, 50 points in 42 games)

8-F-Nick Sorkin (7 goals, 39 assists, 46 points in 54 games)

24-F-Reid Gardiner (26 goals, 18 assists, 44 points in 42 games)

14-F-Riley Bourbonnais (20 goals, 14 assists, 34 points in 51 games)

7-F-Freddie Tiffels (9 goals, 13 assists, 22 points in 28 games)

5-D-Danny Fick (1 goals, 17 assists, 18 points in 54 games)

30-G-Colin Stevens (2-2-4 record, 3.74 GAA, .891 Sv% in 10 games)

MANCHESTER MONARCHS

(33-17-3-2, 71 PTS, 1st North, 3rd East)

207 GF, 157 GA

PP: 18.8% (47-for-250), 7th

PK: 86.2% (193-for-224), 5th

10-F-Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman (30 goals, 31 assists, 61 points in 53 games)

16-F-Zac Lynch (22 goals, 23 assists, 45 points in 54 games)

28-F-Joel Lowry (16 goals, 21 assists, 37 points in 30 games)

23-D-Colton Saucerman (4 goals, 32 assists, 36 points in 52 games)

17-F-Matt Leitner (9 goals, 26 assists, 35 points in 38 games)

24-F-Michael Doherty (13 goals, 17 assists, 30 points in 51 games)

1-G-Charles Williams (19-8-4 record, 2.45 GAA, .922 Sv% in 33 games)

Head to Head

Season Series: Nailers 2, Monarchs 2

Season Series at SNHU Arena: Monarchs 1, Nailers 0

All-Time Series: Nailers 4, Monarchs 3

All-Time Series at SNHU Arena: Monarchs 2, Nailers 0

Another Valuable Point Gained

The Wheeling Nailers have earned a point in two of the first three games on their six-game road trip. On Sunday afternoon, Wheeling rallied from behind, forcing overtime against the Adirondack Thunder. Adirondack opened the scoring with a pair of goals in the first period, as Pierre-Luc Mercier struck at even strength, and Terrence Wallin converted on a power play. For the second game in a row, the Nailers got a huge lift with a goal in the final minute of a period, as Freddie Tiffels made the score 2-1 with 20 seconds left in the middle frame. Wheeling outshot the Thunder, 24-2 in period two. 3:48 into the third period, Tiffels turned on the red light again, knotting the tilt, 2-2. The contest progressed into overtime, and unfortunately, that was when Adirondack prevailed, thanks to a breakaway tally by Desmond Bergin. Tomas Sholl made 39 saves in the win, while Colin Stevens gained a point for the sixth time in eight decisions, stopping 22 of the 25 shots he faced.

Shot Down in a Shootout

The Manchester Monarchs had one result of each type over the weekend, as they won once, lost in regulation once, and lost once in a shootout, doing so in that order. On Sunday afternoon, the story was the goaltenders, as Manchester's Charles Williams and former Monarch Branden Komm, now of the Reading Royals, turned in terrific performances, leading to a 1-1 deadlock at the end of regulation. Both markers were credited to defensemen, as Reading's Nick Luukko got on the scoreboard at the 13:34 mark of the first period, followed by Manchester's Justin Agosta at 8:34 of the middle frame. The Monarchs had the best chances to skate away victorious during game play, as they outshot the Royals 14-8 in the third period, then 8-0 in overtime. The two clubs matched each other shot for shot in the first four rounds of the shootout (two goals for each side), before Matt Willows tallied on the final shot of the day for Reading, giving the visitors a 2-1 win at SNHU Arena.

Marching Toward a Milestone

Another historical milestone is about to be reached by the Nailers, who can do so by collecting at least one point in Wednesday's match against Manchester. Wheeling enters play with an all-time record of 917-748-52-113, which is good for 1,999 standings points. The 2017-18 campaign has already seen three significant numbers reached - the 500th win at WesBanco Arena on November 22nd, the 900th win overall on November 26th, and the 6,000th goal in team history on December 12th. The Nailers will become the second ECHL team to reach 2,000 standings points in their history, joining the South Carolina Stingrays, who accomplished the feat during the 2015-16 season. Wheeling earned its 1,000th standings point all-time on March 9, 2005, in a 3-2 road win against the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies.

Possible Playoff Preview

If the standings hold true to the way they read today, Wednesday night's contest between Wheeling and Manchester will be a preview for round one of the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Monarchs currently owns the top spot in the North Division, having accumulated 71 points in 55 games, giving them a three-point lead over the Adirondack Thunder, while also holding two games in hand (one of which is Wednesday). The Thunder and Reading Royals are separated by two points for second and third place respectively, with third place Reading having played two fewer games than Adirondack. The Nailers check in with 62 points, which is good for fourth place in the group, four points back of the Royals. Wheeling maintained a seven-point lead over the Worcester Railers, thanks to Worcester's 4-1 defeat in Brampton on Tuesday, and can add to that even more with three games against the Railers in an upcoming six-day stretch. All teams except for the Beast have at least 11 divisional games left on their schedules.

Someone Will Take the Lead

Wednesday night marks the fifth of six head-to-head meetings between the Nailers and Monarchs this season, as well as the second and final match at SNHU Arena. The first four tilts have resulted in a split, with Wheeling winning two of three games at WesBanco Arena, while Manchester took the lone clash in the Granite State. A couple of highlights from the first four matches include a hat trick by Wheeling's Riley Bourbonnais on January 5th, and a third period goal by Manchester's Michael Doherty to snap a 2-2 tie on January 19th. Doherty's four goals are the most by any player in the season set, while his teammate, Justin Agosta, leads the way with six points. The top producers for the Nailers have been Reid Gardiner and Nick Sorkin, who have both collected five points. Former Monarch Colin Stevens is expected to make his first start against his old team, while Manchester's Charles Williams spent time with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins earlier in the season.

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